Friday, February 17, 2017

7QT: Treadmill Running Tips and Tricks

Yesterday I was running on the treadmill at the gym and realized I totally have a method to dealing with treadmill training because I kinda hate it.  I think I'll make it my Seven Quick Takes Tips today (linking up with Kelly as usual).


I always try and pick a treadmill that is on the end of a row or at least one that is in between two empty treadmills.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when I'm slaving away on the dreadmill and someone occupies the one when there are others available.  I don't want to feel your sweat on me or hear you panting in my ear!  Move along little doggy.


If for some reason I must be right next to another treadmill runner, then guess what?

That's probably only a helpful tip for competitive peeps but it's fun for me!  I sneak a peek at what the person next to me is doing and try to do it just a little bit faster.  

(Click Read More to well, read more...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DIY Parenting

DIY, or Do It Yourself, is such a popular option when it comes to most things right now.  Meals are healthier when made from scratch, decorations are more meaningful when you can personalize them, home remodels are cheaper when you put your own sweat into the mix.  With the aid of the Internet, YouTube videos, and Pinterest, you can easily look up how to do almost anything and then try and do it yourself.  But no matter how much money can be saved or how much healthier a lifestyle it will bring, there is something bigger that is gained from doing things yourself.

By DIY, you  gain a deeper relationship and satisfaction in your handiwork.

Now that craft that you just poured your heart into becomes a prized possession to the person receiving it, and the bedroom you just repainted makes you happy every time you pass by.  It's not just a bedroom now, it's your bedroom.  Sure it takes work, but isn't that where the satisfaction is found?  Isn't that how relationships are formed?

Parenting works the same way.

When it comes to raising kids, the "result" of all the hard work of parenting isn't always immediate.  But DIY parenting is still the most rewarding and creative "job" there is.  We are building character, creating relationships, and trying to spruce up the world by raising our children to enter it.  Being a hands-on parent and engaged with your kids is hard sometimes, but that's when the work matters the most.  

I read that when you are working out, trying to build muscle and tone, the only reps that matter, the ones that will change your body, are the ones that are hardest.  So you might fly through the first ten push ups, but by eleven it gets tougher.  Those remaining push ups are the ones strengthening your body.  Easy doesn't get results.  Likewise, it's the parents who tend to sick kids in the middle of the night, comfort them when they are upset, read the same story over and over, cheer them on at their events, listen to their stories, even when it's tiring, especially when it's tiring!, who have the chance of having good relationships with their kids.  On days I am truly engaged with my babies, I feel like I can sleep so soundly, knowing I gave all I could.

I'm not writing this to say "Hey, you should be DIY parenting!"  I'm writing this to say that you are already doing it!  This is a pat on your back if only I could reach.  You are doing the hard work of raising them, and you are forming those relationships and putting in your time and energy.  You are DIY Parenting, just remember this when the days feel long and the patience is running short.  Some people may change their home by updating their family room , but you, YOU, are changing the world by raising your family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It's Raining Men on Valentine's Day


Had to get that one out of my system.  It seems like it is raining men, or little men, in the Martin house.   Sometimes I hear myself tell people that I have six sons and I actually have to pause because I shock myself.  Like wait, that can't be right, can it?  We need to find a family of six little ladies all around my boys' ages and betrothe them all.  Then we can just skip all the future dates and broken hearts and drama.  Sounds good.

Anyhoo, when it comes to Valentine's Day and I dream of how to show my main man how much I love him, I can't help but plan on giving all my boys something to let them feel loved and cherished.  Not to fret!  Maggie gets doted on by her Dad, and we hope to show them a glimpse of what a future relationship should look like.  Just not with us....with their pre-determined spouse as previously discussed.  Hee hee.

My big boys, who are almost 14, 12, and 10, feel so loved when they are fed a huge meal of something they like.  One of the best treats I can give them is just to let them pick a meal.  Easy peasy.  These big boys also let me hug them whenever I want, so I take advantage of that and pray it never changes.  We don't do kisses much, I'm just not into kissing my kids once they are past the toddler stage.  Is that weird?

For my littlest men, aged 5 and 2, a little gift makes them feel very special, especially when it's something their big brothers think is cool.  A special treat works for them too,  maybe some chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert, and we will find a cute Valentine's show for them to watch on Netflix. while we are driving the basketball boys to all their games.

All the school kids will be getting a package of Nutella with pretzel sticks in their lunchboxes, a treat that they always look at longingly in the checkout line but I always refuse to buy.  And they will each get a bracelet that I ordered for their stockings but didn't arrive until January.  Valentine's Day gifts for the win!

Some years we just give them a card saying we will take them to a certain movie on the weekend, or sometimes it's a new Valentine's shirt to wear to school, or even just strawberry syrup in their milk at dinner to make it pink.  Whatever it actually is doesn't matter, it truly is the thought behind it, that they are important and loved.  Boys respond so well to these little acts of love and I can't stop myself from showing them who loved them first, before I get happily replaced with all of my future daughters-in-law.

As for that amazing husband of mine, well he's getting a gift he hasn't stopped talking about since he first saw it on TV!  After all the basketball games, we are hoping to grab some takeout and enjoy some homemade creme brulee.  He may actually get a kiss from me too, as he's the only one I want to smooch.

Have fun showing all your loved ones just how much they mean to you!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

7QT: Snow, Lego, Reno and Jojo

It's Friday but it feels like Sunday because....


It snowed a bunch yesterday!  School was cancelled yesterday AND today so it's a four day weekend :)

Lucy is 6 months old today!  Woof!


Since playing in the snow doesn't last too long, I need to find something indoors for these kids to do.  I'm thinking the Lego Batman movie?  

Have you seen it?  Is it everything I hope it will be?


Every day Declan asks for his "bite-a-min and ball":

I don't know why but it brings me such joy to give them each a gummy bear vitamin holding a probiotic "ball".  Isn't it cute?


Phil and I were trying to plan a romantic Valentine's date and then, due in part to all the snow and cancellations, we now have three basketball games scheduled for Valentine's Day evening.  I mean, come on!  Watching my kids play basketball is one of my favorite activities, but on Valentine's Day I would rather be eating dinner somewhere fancy without seeing their sweet little faces.   We are thinking of ordering our favorite boneless chicken wings after the kids go to bed and getting to know each other better.  With a questionnaire... geesh, this is a family-friendly blog ;)


We have a small room off of our family room that we have always used as a toy room.  

I feel like it's a waste of space now because even though we still have little kids, they barely are home playing with toys (which is sad but true) and we have a piece of furniture that I think can hold all of our favorite toys.  So if I can move the kids' bookshelf upstairs to the little boys room and put the piece of furniture with toys in this little room, what else could we do with this space?  I was thinking either office/homework space or a little den with a small couch, another tv and the kids games.  Any advice?


I'm reading this book (I got it for a penny!) about getting in shape, and so far it's pretty good advice, nothing new but sometimes you just need a motivating reminder to do what you already know.  You know?  Her ease into it approach has me hooked, as do her cheat meals.  I also recently finished Chip & Jojo's book and it was good, also motivating in a sense of chasing your dreams and putting family first.  It kinda makes me want to go open a family business.


My kids and I are kind of obsessed with this video from the Patriots parade in Boston this week.  Even if you hate them (cuz you ain't them) you will like this video :)

Have a great snow-blowing, shoveling, snowman-building weekend everybody!